Most awkward celebrity interviews EVER
Earlier this week it emerged that Gwyneth Paltrow had rubbed revered journalist Dylan Jones up the wrong way when she refused to acknowledge his presence and offered ‘monosyllabic’ answers to questions.
The incident took place in the Nineties while Gwyneth was working on Shakespeare in Love but the exchange was so awkward that Dylan still remembers it now, deeming her ‘not pleasant’.
Over the years there have been a slew of frosty and shocking interview exchanges, from Tom Cruise accusing a reporter of ‘crossing the line’ and having ‘bad manners’ to Grace Jones physically attacking a talk show host.
While celebrities are given rigorous media training before embarking on promotional tours there are still occasions when they end up losing their cool.
Now, MailOnline takes a look back at 10 of the most memorable and awkward interview exchanges ever.
Most awkward celeb interviews EVER: Dylan Jones recently recalled his ‘enervating experience’ with Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998 claiming she was unpleasant towards him
Tom Cruise loses his temper over Nicole Kidman question
While Tom Cruise is often labelled a ‘nice guy’ to interview and always has time to chat with fans, he wasn’t able to keep his cool in a 2005 interview with 60 Minutes.
Speaking to Australian journalist Peter Overton, the Hollywood actor angrily told the presenter to ‘put your manners back in’ after he was asked about ex-wife Nicole Kidman.
In the interview, which took place four years after the couple’s divorce, Tom was asked, ‘Is Nicole the love of your life?’
The Golden Globe winner, who looked flustered, responded, ‘What do you mean, Peter? How do you answer that question?’
Then when asked what sort of relationship the former couple still had, Tom lost his cool, telling the Nine reporter: ‘You’re stepping over the line now. You’re stepping over the line, and you know you are.’
He then stared coolly at Peter, until the journalist explained, ‘I suppose they’re questions that people want to know…’.
However Tom cut him off, saying, ‘Peter. Peter. You want to know. Take responsibility for what you want to know.’
‘So, I’m just telling you right now, okay, just put your manners back in.’
The clip ended with a quick apology from Peter.
Scary: An infamous interview in which Tom Cruise (left) snapped at and stared down journalist Peter Overton (right) has gone viral 17 years after it first aired
Peter spoke about the intimidating interview during a 2020 chat with The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
Radio host Kyle Sandilands asked: ‘What were you thinking back then? When you’re being rubbished on camera by Tom Cruise? Are you thinking to yourself, how do I look respectful, but also still in charge of the interview?’
Peter explained: ‘I just maintained who I am, and I didn’t get angry. He did. And I just kept true to myself and said it’s a fair question.’
‘I hold no ill will towards Tom. It was one of those moments,’ he added.
He went on to say that he tried to smooth things over with Tom after the interview, but felt slightly taken aback by the whole experience.
Grace Jones SLAPS a talk show host
Ouch: While Grace Jones is known for her unpredictable interview style no one could have foreseen her attacking talk show host Russell Harty in 1981
While Grace Jones is known for her unpredictable interview style no one could have foreseen her attacking a talk show host in 1981.
The model was left infuriated when Russell Harty continually turned his back on her while speaking to other guests, resulting in Grace reaching out and slapping him continuously.
Writing about the incident in her autobiography, she blamed the outburst on a combination of bad coke, hallucinations, and being covered in pigeon excrement.
She penned: ‘Bad coke was the last thing I wanted before I went on a live television show. The purest form, maybe, but anything else was not going into my body.
‘I was meant to sit next to Russell Harty and keep still and quiet. I was all dressed up like an Amazonian seductress, and treated like the hired help. I thought, “This is no way to treat a guest.” This wasn’t at all like what we’d rehearsed.
‘Being stuck there while he ignored me made me feel very uncomfortable. I felt I was provoked. I was feeling exhausted, had no idea where I was, and was coated in pigeon s**t; now it seemed I was hallucinating that I was on a live chat show and the host was ignoring me. P***ed off, I poked him in the back.’
She added: ‘I wasn’t attacking him because I was drunk or stoned. I was lashing out because I felt he was not being proper.
‘You can see if you watch it. I am being sensitive rather than unruly.’
Dakota Johnson accuses Ellen DeGeneres of LYING
Oh dear: Dakota Johnson became an internet sensation back in 2019 when she publicly called out Ellen DeGeneres during an incredibly awkward interview
Dakota Johnson became an internet sensation back in 2019 when she publicly called out Ellen DeGeneres during an incredibly awkward interview.
In the exchange, Ellen attempted to grill Dakota for not inviting her to her birthday party, only for the actress to firmly correct her.
When the talk show host mentioned she wasn’t invited to Dakota’s 30th birthday, the 50 Shades actress replied: ‘Actually no. That’s not the truth, Ellen. You were invited.
‘Last time I was on the show last year, you gave me a bunch of s**t about not inviting you, but I didn’t even know you wanted to be invited. I didn’t even know you liked me!’
An awkward Ellen responded: ‘You knew I liked you. You’ve been on the show many times.’
She then added in a fluster: ‘I was invited? Why didn’t I go? Oh yeah, I had a thing. It was probably in Malibu. That’s too far for me to go – I think I do remember I was invited. But I really didn’t remember that until just now.’
The moment was later referenced by Drew Barrymore on her talk show as Dakota mentioned the fact that she never gets invited to Jimmy Kimmel’s parties despite living down the road from him.
Drew said: ‘Is this for real? Because people have gotten in trouble for claiming [about] not being invited to your parties… amazing, by the way. Like, amazing.’
Robert Downey Jr walks out on ‘parasite’ Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Robert Downey Jr stormed out of an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy after he was asked about his childhood and past drug use.
The Marvel star was promoting his new movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, in 2015 when he got offended by the line of questioning and refused to answer anything else.
He had been on good form when the exchange started but could be seen getting visibly uncomfortable when Krishnan began asking about his long-conquered personal demons.
Specifically, Krishnan was asked to explain a comment in a 2010 interview with the New York Times, in which he said: ‘You can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal.’
Responding, Robert said: ‘I could pick that apart for two hours and be no closer to the truth than giving you some half-arsed answer right now. I couldn’t even tell you what a liberal is.’
But when asked about his relationship with his father Robert got up and declared: ‘I’m sorry, I really don’t… what are we doing?’ before walking out of the interview.
Seemingly amused with the reaction, Krishan smiled and quipped to the camera: ‘It’s all getting a bit Diane Sawyer [a U.S. journalist known for her penetrating interviews].’
Bye: Robert Downey Jr stormed out of an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy after he was asked about his childhood and past drug use
Robert was still furious about the exchange days later, branding the British journalist a ‘bottom-feeding muckraker’ in an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show, saying that he wished he had walked out of it sooner.
He told Howard: ‘I’m one of those guys who I’m always assuming the social decorum is in play, and that we’re promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it, and that just has nothing to do with your creepy dark agenda that I’m feeling, like, all of a sudden ashamed and obligated to accommodate your weirdo s**t.’
He went on to recount how he felt during the interview, saying: ‘”You know what? You are weirding me out. You are a bottom-feeding muckraker.”
‘My heart was beating in my chest because this was the first interview of the day. What do you think – are you in Kumbaya land?
Krishnan refused to back down, however, telling the Guardian: ‘We don’t do promotional interviews on Channel 4 News.
‘We agree with PR people that as well as talking about a new movie for a while we want to ask wider ranging questions on relatively serious topics, and we don’t guarantee to run any answers in particular.’
Taylor Swift shoots a death stare
Awkward: Taylor Swift made her feelings very clear at the 2015 Grammys when talk turned from the awards show to her love life
Taylor Swift made her feelings very clear at the 2015 Grammys when talk turned from the awards show to her love life.
The singer had been labelled a serial dater due to her high profile romances with the likes of Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Pressing into this line of questioning, Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell made a joke about the singer’s love life when she grabbed her for a red carpet chat.
‘You’re going to walk away with more than a trophy tonight, I think, lots of men,’ Nancy told Taylor.
For a moment there was only an awkward silence from Taylor, who simply glared at her interviewer, before she said: ‘I’m not going to walk home with any men tonight.’
She then added, ‘I’m going to hang out with my friends, and then I go home to the cats… Men get me into trouble!’
Taylor later spoke about the fascination surrounding her love life, telling Vogue: ‘You know, I went out on a normal amount of dates in my early 20s, and I got absolutely slaughtered for it.
‘And it took a lot of hard work and altering my decision-making. I didn’t date for two and a half years. Should I have had to do that? No.’
Samuel L Jackson wades into race row
Blunder: Entertainment anchor Sam Rubin confused Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne on live TV, making for an incredibly awkward interview
Samuel L Jackson was left in a state of disbelief when an KTLA entertainment anchor confused him with Laurence Fishburne in 2014.
During the interview, presenter Sam Rubin asked Samuel, who was appearing on the show from Atlanta to discuss his new movie RoboCop, about his recent Super Bowl commercial.
Looking confused, Samuel responded ‘what Super Bowl commercial?’ and was met with a brief silence.
The penny then dropped as the presenter realised that Laurence had starred in a Super Bowl advert that year, not Samuel.
The Snakes On A Plane star quickly picked up on the error and pointed his finger angrily, as he stated: ‘you see, you’re as crazy as the people on Twitter. I’m not Laurence Fishburne!’
Sam chuckled uncomfortably, repeating, ‘that’s my fault, I know that, my mistake,’ while holding his hands up in surrender, but Samuel continued his tirade as he scoffed: ‘We don’t all look alike! We may all be black and famous but we don’t all look alike.’
He went on to note: ‘You’re the entertainment reporter? You’re the entertainment reporter for this station and you don’t know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne?
‘There must be a very short line for your job!’
He later lightened the mood slightly by joking about the various ads he, Laurence and even Morgan Freeman have starred in, to clarify to entertainment reporter just which ‘black guy’ he was.
Jeremy Strong is ‘judged and shamed’ over Succession quotes
Oops: Succession star Jeremy Strong baffled fans when he was quoted in The New Yorker saying he didn’t see his hit show as a comedy – a revelation that baffled his peers
Succession star Jeremy Strong baffled fans when he was quoted in The New Yorker saying he didn’t see his hit show as a comedy – a revelation that baffled his peers.
He was heavily mocked for the profile, which showcased his ‘method acting’ tendencies, with the piece starting with a quote about his character Kendall Roy: ‘I take him as seriously as I take my own life.’
It also discussed his childhood acting idols – all of whom are notorious for going great lengths to portray their characters – Daniel Day Lewis, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman.
His co-star Kieran Culkin and executive producer Adam McKay were quoted in the piece, with the latter saying: ‘He’s not playing it like a comedy. He’s playing it like he’s Hamlet.’
The piece was widely mocked at the time, and Jeremy later said it was ’15 minutes of shame, with a long tail. I hadn’t felt judged like that in a very long time.’
However, he was keen to iterate that he bears no ill will to his colleagues for their part in the piece or their comments critiquing his techniques.
He said: ‘Everyone’s entitled to have their feelings. I also think Brian Cox, for example, he’s earned the right to say whatever the f**k he wants.
‘There was no need to address that or do damage control… I feel a lot of love for my siblings and my father on the show.
‘And it’s like a family in the sense that, and I’m sure they would say this, too, you don’t always like the people that you love. I do always respect them.’
Reflecting on when he felt fully over the profile, he said: ‘If anything, I was worried – could it have harmed how I feel about doing what I do? And that kind of haunted me for a while.’
Joan Rivers brands Brigitte Nielsen a c***
See you: Brigitte Nielsen was so offended by Joan Rivers’ line of questioning on her chat show that she stormed out not just once, but twice
Brigitte Nielsen was so offended by Joan Rivers’ line of questioning on her chat show that she stormed out not just once, but twice.
The pair were filming The Joan Rivers Position in 2005 when things quickly took a turn and the conversation became frosty.
An audience member said: ‘Joan was bitching about some of Brigitte’s former husbands and it didn’t go down very well.
‘It’s hard to tell precisely what the row was about because Brigitte started yelling in Italian.’
During the interview, an offended Brigitte walked out twice, promting Joan to brand her a ‘ c***’ to the shocked audience.
A viewer explained: ‘They are both renowned for being outspoken but what was strange was the way the whole thing blew up and then blew over.
By the end they seemed to be back on good terms again. To be honest, they are both a couple of nutbags but it was fabulous to watch.”
Paris Hilton storms out over sexist question
Furious: Paris Hilton stormed out of a U.S TV interview in 2011 after she was asked if she was ‘past her prime’
Paris Hilton stormed out of a U.S TV interview in 2011 after she was asked if she was ‘past her prime’.
The reality TV star took offence at the question and pulled the plug on the interview with Dan Harris of ABC News at her Los Angeles mansion.
She first become agitated when the journalist suggested she had been eclipsed by her best friend turned rival, Kim Kardashian.
He asked: ‘Do you worry at times that people who have followed in your footsteps like Kim Kardashian are over shadowing you?’
Through gritted teeth, she replied: ‘No, not at all.’
She became even more irritated when mentioned that her latest reality TV show The World According to Paris has struggled in the ratings.
The journalist continued: ‘Do you worry about your moment having passed?’
Paris, then 30-years-old, glanced across at her publicist off camera before getting up from her chair and stormed out.
She could be heard saying off camera: ‘I don’t want all this being used.’
After a ‘heated’ discussion between the reporter, Paris and her publicist, she eventually returned to camera to deliver an apparently well-rehearsed answer.
‘I’ve been doing this for 15 years now, so it’s been a long time so just like any other business person or someone in the industry, it is always important to reinvent yourself and come up with new projects,’ she said.
Britney Spears bursts into tears after grilling
Uncomfortable viewing: A fragile and vulnerable Britney Spears was grilled by Diane Sawyer on national television when she was just 22 years old leaving her in tears
Britney Spears famously burst into tears during an emotional 2003 interview with Diane Sawyer who grilled her about her split from Justin Timberlake.
The American journalist asked the singer ‘what she did’ to cause the split, and confronted her with semi-naked pictures of the singer that she had posed for, which many fans see now as sex-shaming.
Pushing the issue of the split, Diane said: ‘You broke his heart. You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering. What did you do?’
Diane also asked the pop star about a comment made by Maryland’s first lady in 2003, Kendel Ehrlich, who made some eyebrow-raising comments at an anti-domestic violence conference that year.
She slammed the singer as a bad influence as she said: ‘Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would.’
The singer seemed shocked by the comment which she said was ‘horrible’ and ‘really bad.’
Yet Diane seemingly defended the former prosecutor as she elaborated: ‘It’s because of the example for kids and how hard it is to be a parent.’
Britney later claimed she was ‘forced’ into giving the interview by her father and management, despite being in a vulnerable state at the time and not wanting to speak.
The troubled pop star posted a lengthy note to her Instagram account where she called out the legendary broadcaster for making her cry, and for conducting the chat with a ‘you’re in the wrong’ agenda.
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